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Salvation Army in Harrold

Market House on The Green May 2008
Market House on The Green May 2008

During the latter part of the 19th century the Salvation Army visited Harrold, in common with other villages, and held outdoor meetings. They were not always universally welcome as the Bedfordshire Mercury of 19th May 1888 reveals: “DISGRACEFUL CONDUCT. On Sunday afternoon last while the Salvation Army young men were conducting service on the Village Green, some half-drunken fellows came there with a large bottle of beer, and tried to annoy the people who were listening. The people of Harrold were pleased to know the disturbers were not natives, but came from an adjoining village in another county. Perhaps the police will give an eye to this. The Army exists to help all and to injure none”. Shame on you Bozeat, or Lavendon!

A happier occasion was related by the Bedfordshire Mercury of 21st July 1888: "The Salvation Army brass band from Rushden paid a visit on Sunday last, paraded the streets, and gave a selection of music on the green; the Olney friends met them there, and a large number of people assembled to hear them sing, play and speak. The weather being very wet, Mr Le Fevre, sen., kindly allowed them the use of an empty cottage on the green; in the evening they held a short service in the cottage, when a good number attended".

The Bedfordshire Mercury praised the work of the Salvation Army in Harrold in its issue of 23rd March 1889: "Since the Army made its appearance in Harrold a vast amount of good has been done. A great number have professed conversion and given up both drinking and smoking, and are paying every attention to their duty as soldiers. It has caused quite a stimulus to the chapel and the Mission Hall, and many are joining the various places of worship in the neighbourhood. A number are still working with the Army in holding meetings in Mr.LeFevre's barn and cottage he has so kindly placed at their disposal. There are no resident officers, but they come over from Olney occasionally to conduct meetings, and when they are not at Harrold the converts, with various friends, hold meetings together, and the work has grown immensely".